Spartan race

What Will You Stand For?

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Hmmm, so yesterday was a pretty heated day for me.  How about all of you?  I think what actually bothered me more than all the hate, ignorance, and degrading comments on that page, is how many other people must have seen it and not said or done anything about it.  While I understand that sometimes standing up for what is right can be a rather sticky and unpleasant business, doesn’t it leave you feeling lighter than just standing by and witnessing a gross act of injustice?

Now I am by no means claiming to be perfect.  Anyone who reads this blog know better!  However, I am never going to be the type of person to not speak up (ever again!)  I spent far too long being too polite to stick up for myself, let alone other people.  It was something I needed to change to grow as a person, and it’s something our culture needs to change as well.

Unfortunately, I feel like the individuals of this society have been so conditioned to mind their own business and not get involved that even when something completely damaging and malicious is occurring right in front of them, they still don’t act.  

The misconception is that unless someone is degrading us personally, that it is really none of our business.  Well, I for one, would like to call bull$h*t on that point.  IT IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS.  Let me explain why.  

Those people who were ganging up and publicly ridiculing a young girl were doing so in front of a lot of other people.  When there is no negative feedback, they just go on to assume that they aren’t doing anything wrong.  By doing nothing, you are essentially condoning their behavior- behavior that can only exist in a setting where it is condoned.  In other words, if someone had spoken up when the page first started, maybe it wouldn’t have ever gotten so far.  Better still, if someone had spoken up at the first derogatory comment uttered by any of the page organizers, maybe it never would have gotten to the point of being created.  

We currently live in a culture where people think it is totally okay to publicly degrade and sexualize women.  It’s in the media, music, all over the internet, and in everyday conversation.  We are so flooded with it, that no one seems to find it offensive anymore.  At what point does it become not okay?  At what point do you stand up and say something?  

It’s not a problem exclusive to women either.  It is a problem with society in general.  When did it become acceptable to insult and mistreat a person simply for not agreeing with them?  Why are we as a culture so callous toward one another?  How can we all want the world to be a better place, yet say nothing when someone makes a derogatory, racist, insensitive, or offensive comment?  We have lost our feedback loop.  

We have produced a society where individuals feel they can say and do whatever they please without fear of repercussion… and then we wonder why there is so much violence, hate, and lack of compassion.  It starts with the everyday conversations.  It starts with holding each other accountable.  It starts with getting comfortable with (politely) telling the people around you when they behave in a way that offends you.  It starts with you and me.     

The best way to make an impact in this world is to start with the small things and the people around you.  For example, I have a coworker who had a regular habit of referring to every person and situation that irritated him as a derogatory term for a woman or part of her anatomy.  After spending an entire 13 hour shift of pointing this out to him every time he did it (and equating it to me using a insulting term for male anatomy every time I was annoyed), he finally got the message.  He’s not a bad guy.  He just honestly had never thought about it.  Now he makes an effort not to use that kind of language (at the very least when he’s around me).  If each of us said something when we heard degrading comments (not just against women, but in general), then maybe just maybe we could make an impact.  I, for one, could live very happily if I made it through the rest of my days not ever again hearing the “N” word, “C” word, any other racial slur (for that matter) or another woman referred to as a b*t@h or hoe.  

I know it seems like a small thing, but that is how the ripple effect works.  Change the conversation and soon you’re changing the culture. 

I am not sure how many of you have seen the recent commencement speech given by Admiral McRaven, but I think he has some pretty sound advice that is applicable not only to the graduating class he was addressing.  Rather, I believe we all can use a reminder every now and then of how much power we have to change and shape the world we live in.  

In addition to all the eloquently stated tips he offers, I’d also like to add some of my own:

Be kind. Treat those around you with compassion. You never know when yours may be the only compassion another individual sees in a day or a lifetime.  You would be surprised what a long way a little caring and understanding can go in this world.  

Do what you can.  Don’t worry about it not being good enough.  It’s about the effort and intent.  So do what you can with what you have right now; and when you can do more, do more.

Lead by example.  There is a lot to be said for a life well lived, so live your life well and show others how to do the same.  Sometimes people just need an example.  You never know who you might be inspiring.

Use your voice.  So many people forget they even have a voice.  Speak up!  Don’t ever voluntarily give up your power.  Your voice can make a difference.  Use it wisely.

At the end of the day when your life is over, is it really going to matter how much is in your bank account or how impressive your resume was?  To me, it seems like the most important thing would be to have made a positive impact during my time here.  I’m not going to be the person to find a cure for cancer or win a Nobel Peace Prize, but at least I will know that I was kind to those I met along the way, did what I could to make the world a better place, tried my absolute best to lead a good life, and spoke up.  If in the process I manage to change the way even a few people think or act then that is just an #EPIC bonus.

 

 

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The Word Hypocrite Springs To Mind

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If you arrived at this page through a shared link, I have to inform you that the post you were looking for is no longer published.

I am a woman of my word, and I did state that I would take it down if anyone involved regretted their actions and/or apologized.

If you are interested in the subject of bullying I would like to refer to this post instead to understand why I was offended enough to post in the first place.

Those of you who wish to help support Laura in her fundraising can find her GoFundMe site here.  You can also leave her some love in the comments below.

Anyone wishing to learn more about her can find her personal blog here.

To Laura (and everyone else dealing with haters today)

You keep being YOU!  Live your dreams, never apologize for being yourself,

And keep kicking ass.

We at The Running Thriver support you!

Becoming A Grown Up (And My Grown Up Bucket List)

“…Let me be something every blessed minute.

And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.” 

― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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Hello Everyone!

You may or may not have noticed some subtle (and not so subtle) changes going on with this blog as of late.  You see, given that I am now married, discussing family planning, and working as supervisor it seems like my life has finally transitioned from that weird in between stage (where you are on your own but really only responsible for yourself) to official grown up.  In that spirit, I thought it was time for The Running Thriver to become more grown up too.

Over the past few years I’ve been blogging, I feel like I have finally come to a place where I have found my voice (big surprise: it’s kind of snarky) and know what direction I want to take this site.  Within the past few months I’ve learned a tremendous amount about how to customize my blog appearance, edit and create my own graphics, and use new social media outlets (twitter, instagram, pinterest… my head is still spinning!) all in an effort to make this blog completely my own and use it to reflect who I am as a person (and blogger!).  

As much as I loved the paisley (I may find a way to incorporate it back in yet!), there is more to me than a pre-designed layout.  My personality and voice are unique, so my blog appearance should reflect the same.  I started with something simple and little by little I am making it my own.  BTW I would love to hear your suggestions and feedback throughout the process! 

My monumental accomplishment for today was adding social media buttons (present above my gravatar… which PS. now links to my “About Me” page. Who’s awesome? That’s right, me! jk… It’s actually kind of pathetic how badly I struggle with these things.)  See them. Use them, Love them.  If you don’t, I will have wasted several hours of my life that I will never get back.  

Anyhow, as you all know updating this blog has been something that has been on my To Do List for quite some time.  So, now that I am in the process of tackling the major revamp, I thought I’d share some other items on my Grown Up Bucket List:

  • Publish a book– Of course not just publish a book, but become a New York Times best seller.  Then I can take the proceeds from the book and provide scholarships for other victims of trauma to live their dreams.  No, I am not kidding.  Go big or go home people!  I am going to share my story and inspire the masses that they too can chase their dreams, regardless of athletic prowess or coordination (or lack there of…)
  • Start a Non-Profit– Because someone needs to be in charge of coordinating and handing out the scholarship money.  If the best seller thing doesn’t come through, I may need to win the lottery for this one.  On the plus side, at least I have my life figured out should I ever strike it rich.
  • Start a Family– For the record, these are not in order of importance.  Also, it turns out I am not pregnant (yet) just crazy, as previously expected (I finally got my period and it snowed today. Happy Monday to me!  I know, TMI).  I may need to see a doctor if this continues… the weird symptoms that is, not the lack of pregnancy.
  • Run an Ultra in an Exotic Location– Well maybe not super exotic because I’m not really into humidity and giant bugs, but I wouldn’t mind Tuscany or Ireland
  • Vacation at the Sandals Resort in St. Lucia– Why? Because we never had a honeymoon, and if we did have one that was where I wanted to go.
  • Finish a 50 Miler– This one should be totally obvious since I have already done a 50K 😉
  • Maybe Try a 100 Miler– I refuse to commit to this dream at this time
  • Finish a Half Ironman– I am clearly dedicated to this one if I stuck with swimming in spite of Coach M kicking me out of class and telling me to get a refund.
  • Finish a Full IronmanThis one is going to happen before I die!
  • Become a Marathon Swimmer– That’s right, I said it out loud… or typed it anyway.
  • Get Comfortable on My Bike– Preferably before the Half and Full Ironman…
  • Qualify for the Boston Marathon– At the rate I am going I may be able to qualify at age 80… if I don’t get any slower by then…
  • Meet Diana Nyad Because she is AMAZING, I admire her, and I am secretly hoping to become a better swimmer by being in her presence.
  • Meet Meredith Atwood (Swim Bike Mom)– Also AMAZING, and I’d like to thank her in person for the book.  I’d prefer not to meet her though until after I’ve written my book or completed an Ironman because otherwise it will just look creepy and stalker-ish
  • Complete an Un-Assisted Pull Up– I am SOOOOOO close…  It’s going to happen. This will be my year!
  • Compete in a Body Building Competition– It’s probably the only time I will get on track with my nutrition and eat enough calories in a day.  Plus, I think it’d be a great challenge.
  • Climb Mount Kilimanjaro– The Hubs is on board with this.  We just need to find extra couple thousand dollars for funding…
  • Live on a Lake– Luckily the Hubs also has this one on his Bucket List.
  • Become a Fitness Instructor/Coach– Just part-time, you know, because I don’t have enough else going on…
  • Be a Guest on Oprah or Ellen (probably Ellen… there’s more dancing and oh maybe I could meet that girl who raps Nicki Minaj…) Clearly this would have to happen after becoming a best selling author 
  • Place First in My Age Group– Just once… maybe when I’m 80 and qualify for Boston.
  • Make an Impact– Before I die I want to do something to leave my mark.  I want to have helped to make the world a better place.

That’s all I have for now… I’m sure I’ll think of others after I hit publish.  

What’s on your Bucket List?

Any in common?  

How about a Spartan Race?  

You know I do still have that free race entry, and we are only 9 likes away from starting the giveaway.  I think you should all head over to like my Facebook Page through my new social media button and take note of the “Giveaway” tab while you’re there.  

9 MORE LIKES PEOPLE! That’s all that’s separating you and the chance for an EPIC RACE EXPERIENCE!    

Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell random strangers.  The sooner we get to 200 likes, the sooner I can make one of you a very happy fellow thriver.  And for those of you who enter but don’t win, I also have a link for a discount code.  

In the meantime, I hope you are all having a very Happy Monday! 

Because I couldn’t help myself…

How to Be Epic

“I want to have an epic life.

I want to tell my life with big adjectives.

I want to forget all the grays in between, and remember the highlights and the dark moments.”
-Isabel Allende

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You may have noticed from all the links in my posts recently that I have been doing a lot of reading via various social media outlets (including some of my favorite bloggers <3).  Recently I came across this gem titled How to Be Epic.  My first thought when I saw the title was “Um, I already am“, but then I realized that the article was about a woman who took on an Ironman during a midlife crisis.  Given that have a keen interest in one day completing an Ironman, and am not that many years off from a mid life crisis myself, I took notice.

Once you get past the typos (this was difficult for my inner grammar nazi me, but I’m not perfect either (gasp)… and I love Runner’s World) it is a pretty good read… maybe not Triathlon For Every Woman good, but still worth the glance.  For those of you too lazy busy to read it for yourselves, let me give you the gist of it:

“More busy runners are pushing themselves in endurance races. Maybe you should too!”

Basically, the article recaps how one busy, former rowing champ, endurance junkie, Kona dreaming, middle-aged mom becomes an Ironman (through endless hours of training that made her question her sanity).  Sounds totally relatable to me… aside from maybe the rowing champ part.  Excuse me, but where are all the articles about unathletic, uncoordinated folks taking on an Ironman?  None?  Okay well thank you Swim Bike Mom for filling that void.  Hopefully, someday I can help you out with that.

Anyway, the point of the article is how training for an EPIC RACE (ie. one that is WAY out of your comfort zone and seems impossible) changes you as a person.  Back when I ran my first (and only: “first and last!”) marathon I posted on how the training had changed me long before I ever ran (hobbled through) that race.  Truly, training must change you or completing the race would never become possible.  Once the race is over, you cann’t go back to the person you were before training, and isn’t that the point? To get out of your comfort zone?  To build a better, stronger, and more confident you?

When people hear that I am signed up for yet another “crazy” obstacle course race or 30+ mile run, they invariably wonder (out loud) why I would want to.  Isn’t it obvious? Because I can!  Wouldn’t you if there was a chance you thought you could?  Wouldn’t it be worth knowing just how far you can push yourself?  Wouldn’t it be worth the sense of accomplishment?

There are so many people in this world who go through life without ever testing or knowing the true depth of their strength or ability to persevere.  In doing so they grossly underestimate themselves.  That seems far more crazy to me than continually pushing my limits.  What’s the worst thing that could happen? I fail?  Well that just makes the eventual victory that much sweeter!  I would rather be a failure than someone who never tried.  Living life on the sidelines isn’t living, it’s watching.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing?

Are you ready to give up the sidelines and BE EPIC?

It just so happens that I now have that code for a FREE SPARTAN RACE ENTRY.  How’s that for a chance to get out of your comfort zone?  Here’s an idea: You can enter the giveaway, and if you win take as a sign from fate.  With the money you save on the race entry you can even pick up the new Reebok All-terrain shoes.  Since a race entry can run up to almost $200 and the shoes run about $120 (when ordered directly from Reebok), it’s almost like getting a discounted race entry and the shoes for free… at least that’s how I’d justify to the hubs if it were me… 😉

The giveaway is slated to start just as soon as we hit 200 likes on the Running Thriver Facebook Page.  Why you ask?  Well, because WordPress does not allow Rafflecopter giveaways on the blog, which means I will be hosting the giveaway through Facebook.  So my lovelies, I am really doing this for all of you.  I want to make sure you all find the page, so you don’t miss out!

ImageOnce the giveaway starts, look for the tab (pictured above for your convenience) to enter.

We are only 10 likes away, so it should be soon!

 

In the meantime, I hope you all have an EPIC WEEKEND!  I’d love to hear about your adventures!

 

 

Remember When? (aka Big News People!)

What is success?

I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing;

knowing that it is not enough,

that you have got to have hard work

and a certain sense of purpose.
-Margaret Thatcher

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Alright Peeps,

Remember back when I told you all that I had arrived in my blogging career because The Bloggess started following me on Twitter (and some of you likely rolled your eyes and thought I was looney… which I am, but only in the best way)…

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Just in case you missed it the first time…

Well, now Spartan Race has also noted my obvious awesomeness and reached out with a free race entry to give away.  Umm… YOU’RE WELCOME!!!! (TAKE THAT EYE ROLLERS!)

So here is the deal, Dan Krueger from the Spartan Race social media squad sent me an email this morning offering a free race entry for one lucky reader in exchange for me helping to promote their upcoming 2014 Racing Season as well as the new Reebok Spartan Race All-terrain shoes series.  Seriously?  This is like asking me to promote peanut butter… and we all know how much I love peanut butter…

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I know you are thinking too good to be true, right? Me too! But I went ahead and googled him (CSI has nothing on me!), and he is a real person affiliated with Spartan Race.  He has also worked with other bloggers on giveaways, so the only thing that may mess this up for all of you is if he actually reads my blog and realizes what a raving nut I am… then again, what kind of people sign up for Spartan Races anyway? 😉

You may remember my first experience with Spartan Race back when the Hubs and I took on the very first Ultra Beast (and Spartan Race grossly mis-advertised the actual distance of the race… FYI Spartan Race roughly 26.2 miles does not equal 30 miles… not ever… but then Marathon Beast doesn’t have the same ring as Ultra Beast, does it?)

All joking aside, the experience was life changing.  It was one of only a few experiences in my life that has truly tested my limits (physically and emotionally).  Now one of you may have the same opportunity!

For the few of you who have been hiding under a rock are unfamiliar with the Spartan Race Series, here’s a little preview what you are signing up for:

ARE YOU READY TO SPARTAN UP?

If you are watching this video (or read about my experience with the Ultra Beast) and are convinced you could never do it, let me reassure you. Spartan Race has multiple distances and difficulty levels ranging from Sprint (roughly 5k) all the way to Death Race (multiple days).  You should pick a distance that scares the hell out of you and then train for it.  That is how growth happens people!  If you can already comfortably run a 5K and are nervous about the obstacles, try the Sprint distance.  Looking for a challenge, try the Super or Beast course.

For those of you who already have done and love the Spartan Races, this could be your chance to get an extra race in!

Oh and don’t forget the shoes:

  • Strategically placed water drainage ports
  • Rock guard (to protect your feet from sharp rocks and objects)
  • Obstacle grip (which is also invaluable when wet shoes meet slippery rock faces)
  • Spartan Tough

We all know I am a loyal Inov 8 girl, but then a girl can never have too many shoes… especially trail shoes. 😉  BTW Reebok I generally wear a size 7 in running shoes should you decide you would like a review… I have an ultra coming up that would definitely put them to the test… just saying  😉

 

So my question who is excited?

 

PS. For more information on Spartan Race and Obstacle Racing in general, check out these blogs:

Dirt in Your Skirt

On My Way To Sparta 

 

 

 

Ultra Beast on My Mind

“It takes a little courage, and a little self-control… and some grim determination,

If you want to reach the goal.

It takes a deal of striving, and a firm and stern-set chin.

No matter what the battle, If you really want to win.

There’s no easy path to glory, There’s no road to fame.

Life, however we may view it, Is no simple parlor game;

But it’s prizes call for fighting, For endurance and for grit;

For a rugged disposition and don’t know when to quit.”

With the Spartan Ultra Beast only a few weeks away at this point, it’s safe to say it’s on my mind almost 24/7.  I know myself well enough to realize that no matter how much I train, it will never feel like enough.  I mean how are you ever supposed to feel prepared for something you’ve never done before?  Isn’t the whole point of doing an event like this to GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE?  (Mission Accomplished!!! I am SO OUT of my comfort zone lol)

I’ve never done a Spartan Race, so I only have an idea of what to expect. I considered signing up for the Super Spartan next weekend, and even running it twice back to back as training- but it’s almost $150.  That is a lot of money, especially when you’re paying a mortgage and student loans.  Furthermore, realistically, I don’t think running next weekend (or even doing the course twice) is going to dramatically effect whether or not I finish Sept 22nd.  At this point, most of my training is already behind me; and there’s not going to be much I could pull of in the next week or two that is going to alter my chances… other than getting injured!  Plus, I think I would rather not know what I’m getting myself into…

I keep reminding myself that Spartan Headquarters selected me for a reason.  I earned my spot in that race.  Up until completing the Ascent, I wasn’t sure how well I believed I could finish; and it bothered me to read comments about how there were too many unqualified people getting in.

However, now I don’t care if other people think I’m un or under-qualified.  They clearly don’t know me, what I’ve been through, or what I’m capable of accomplishing when my mind is set.  The truth is I don’t need anyone else’s approval to succeed.  The fact that I have never done a Spartan Race has absolutely nothing to do with my worthiness to compete or my ability to finish.  I don’t need to rattle off my credentials or prove myself to anyone.  I am one tough chick, and if they don’t want to see or acknowledge it that’s their problem- not mine.

I didn’t sign up for this race to demonstrate to the world what a badass I am; I signed up to challenge myself.  I wanted to push myself to do something I didn’t think I could.  I figured I’d send in my application and see what happened.  If I got in, I’d take it as a sign from the universe that I could do it and was ready for the challenge.  Never in a million years did I imagine what a (pardon the expression) “pissing contest” it would become.  I guess I was accustomed to the Spartan Chicked group where everyone is encouraging and supportive of each other without the need for competition.

 Maybe it’s the addition of the testosterone, but the Ultra Beast group is constant stream of who is the most awesome, who is going to annihilate the race because “some of us eat courses like this for breakfast”, complaints that there are too many people getting in (I’m sorry, I missed the part about our applications being accepted early on making us superior to everyone else) , and how there are so many unqualified people getting accepted (not sure what credentials are required to be the judge of who is actually qualified, but apparently Spartan Headquarters doesn’t seem to have them). Seriously? Grow up people and worry about yourselves!

I’m not saying that is what every post is like, or even how most of the people in the group are.  In reality, it’s probably only a few people (with a constant need to run their mouths), but the comments are a fairly regular occurrence.  I just don’t understand the concept of needing to trash other people (people you don’t even know in this case!) to make yourself feel good.  Sure, maybe you’re naturally athletic- but did you ever stop and think that maybe that’s your disadvantage?  Do you even know what it’s like to really dig deep and work for something?  Have you ever pushed yourself to your mental or physical limit?  Have you trained through chronic injuries and pain?  Have you ever even attempted anything you didn’t already know you would succeed at?

I’d like to think that if you did, you would be supportive of other people trying to do the same instead of looking down your nose at them as if they’re beneath you in some way.  I know people who have been accepted in the Ultra Beast with fewer races and  less distance covered than me… several, in fact, who have never even covered the distance of a full marathon.   That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the chance to compete; and it certainly doesn’t make them less deserving than me or anyone else to be there.  Running is supposed to be about competing with yourself and having fun in the process.  If you’ve lost sight of that then I sincerely feel sorry for you.

Give ’em Hell

“When life pushes you over, push back harder”

Since I started training for the Ultra Beast, it’s safe to say there have been a lot of set backs.  First my shoulder, then my sister’s miscarriage, then my dad in the hospital, and now frequent extra hours at work… PLUS to top it off- I think I tweaked my back.   (I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that I can avoid the chiropracter on this one) The way things have been going, I’ve been getting stressed at times that I’m not where I should be or pushing as hard as I could be.

However, it seems like the more I push my body, the more it pushes back!  Maybe I’m not designed to work out at maximum intensity for hours a day after all!  I have been doing P90X and recently started hiking with a daypack filled with sand (probably 40lbs in total… may have overdone it the last time = back pain), but nothing I do ever seems like enough.  I’m so terrified of failing that I’m almost not enjoying the workouts.  Instead I look at what everyone else is doing and think “I should be doing more” or pushing harder.  I feel like I have to make up for only having 4 days a week to train; and I find myself feeling guilty when I take any time out to have “fun” instead of workout.

The truth is, I’m being ridiculous because there’s no reason I can’t prepare even if it is only 4 days of intense training a week.  After all, I worked the same schedule when I trained for the marathon, and I survived that.  Sure, I can’t do a pull up (yet) or climb a rope (yet!), but I do have experience with covering long distances. Not that long along, I walked for hours on end and covered a full marathon at the Relay for Life.   Maybe obstacles aren’t a strength of mine, and maybe there are a number of “elite” athletes competing in this event, but that doesn’t mean I’m not qualified.

A while ago, someone posted in the Ultra Beast group on Facebook that the Spartan HQ was intentionally letting in a bunch of under-qualified racers to increase the dropout rate and make the race look harder.  I found the comment a little offensive as I’m sure I fall into that category in this self proclaimed elite (more like elitist) athlete’s eyes.  However, I would venture to guess that anyone who would feel the need to make a comment like that is grossly underestimating the capabilities of many of the registrants.  Sure, I may not have a big name is the obstacle racing world (or anywhere else in the fitness realm for that matter!) and I may not even have been able to train as much as I have wanted. However, I do have one strength that will work in my favor- I can push though physical pain and exhaustion, and even more importantly: mental pain and exhaustion.

I spent over 5 years in an abusive relationship and have experienced betrayal by people I considered family.  I have lived through pain I thought would kill me and have come out on the other end smarter and stronger.  NO PHYSICAL PAIN COULD EVER COMPARE to the pain I endured then.  Strong people don’t just happen.  Strong people are CONDITIONED.  They live through pain no one should have to suffer, pain you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.  If I could come out of a situation like that still standing (and running my mouth… haha) then no marathon length obstacle course is going to take me out, even if I have to crawl!

There’s not much I can’t stand more than quitting.  I would rather risk seriously injuring myself than quit.  I would rather suffer and be miserable than quit.  As much as I would like to have done more physical training, at can at least take solace in the fact that I have had top notch mental conditioning.  If spending five days in a hospital with little to no sleep at a time of crisis in my family didn’t break me, and spending five years with a person who constantly tried to beat me down and make me feel like I wasn’t good enough didn’t break me then this race isn’t going to break me (at least not mentally…)

When life knocks me down, I come back stronger.  All these “curveballs”  are just going to have to serve as fuel to keep pushing because ,at this point, I don’t have time to stress about them.  Anyone who thinks I’m under-qualified or just plain crazy (probably the more likely of the two) will just have to eat their words when I work  that much harder and finish.  I WILL NOT BE DISCOURAGED.  I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED.  As long as there is breath in my lungs, I will continue to drive forward from one goal to the next.  I am a fighter.  I don’t stop when I’m tired (or discouraged!).  I stop when I’m done.  

My New Anthem.